Resources, Referrals and Help
As a principal of a private school for learning disabled children, I am asked by parents and other professionals on a daily basis for information on resources. With web access, Resources for Children’s source book (212-677-4650) and the “leave no child behind legislation,” one would expect that reliable information is readily available. Yet when the need is for low cost services or very specific services, my daily interactions tell me that getting information is still difficult.
Three opportunities have recently become available to parents. One provides free psycho-educational evaluation, one free remediation with a learning disabilities specialist, and one excellent on-line support.
As I am sure most parents and professionals are aware, if you have concerns about your child’s academic progress you can request, in writing, an evaluation from the Department of Education. Therefore, one might wonder why a free private psycho-educational evaluation might be desirable. There are two reasons: First to get a second opinion, especially if you find yourself in disagreement with the primary evaluation. Second, the mandate of The Department of Education is to offer appropriate services within a public school setting, not necessarily to provide a diagnostic profile of your child as a learner. The State College of Optometry, Learning Disabilities Unit has recently received a grant to provide FREE evaluations for children in grades k-8 with Medicaid (non HMO) or Centercare. As part of this process your child will also receive a visual and perceptual evaluation. Call 212-780-4960 for information.
Often parents face a difficult problem: they know that their child needs Orton-Gillingham or multi-sensory remediation but they don’t know how to go about getting help. While many fabulous well-trained Learning Disabilities Specialists can be contacted by calling The International Dyslexia Association (212-691-1930) options are fewer when families lack financial resources. Lady Liberty Educational Alliance was established to offer instruction in reading and related language skills free of charge to students who have not yet gained adequate skills in a standard school setting despite intervention and who cannot afford private fees. Contact Carol Kanter at 212-744-6121 (10-3). Because Lady Liberty is a charity with all of its monies committed to providing services, it must raise funds to continue to provide remediation.
The Manhattan Jazz ensemble will perform a benefit concert at The Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall on Friday May 16th at 8PM. To support his unique and very worthy program call for tickets at 212-247-7800 or go on-line to www.carnegiehall.org.
Finally for those parents new to the process or seeking information about learning disabilities on the web try www.schwableasrning.org. Charles Schwab, of brokerage fame, is dyslexic and has put the considerable resources of his organization to work on creating a guide for parents and educators. Request a parent or educator packet.#